NFL Player Sues ESPN Reporter After Losing Finger to Firework

The reporter tweeted a photo of his medical chart
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2016 3:01 PM CST
NFL Player Sues ESPN Reporter After Losing Finger to Firework
Jason Pierre-Paul of the New York Giants lost a finger in a firework accident last Fourth of July. Now he's suing the ESPN reporter who tweeted a photo of his medical chart.   (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

An NFL player who blew off a chunk of his hand with a firework last Fourth of July is suing ESPN and one of its reporters who tweeted a photo of his medical chart, Courthouse News Service reports. "ESPN obtained medical charts that show Giants DE Jason Pierre-Paul had right index finger amputated today," reporter Adam Schefter tweeted along with a photo of the medical chart from a Miami hospital. A lawsuit filed by Pierre-Paul on Wednesday alleges Schefter's tweet violated his privacy, as well as a Florida statute that prohibits medical records from being given to anyone not related to a patient's care, according to Deadspin. The New York Post reports the lawsuit claims Schefter showed "blatant disregard for the private and confidential nature of plaintiff’s medical records, all so Schefter could show the world that he had ‘supporting proof’ of a surgical procedure.”

Regardless of his claim that he needed to release the photo of Pierre-Paul's medical chart as proof for his story on the amputation, Schefter faced a wave of criticism for the tweet. He would later admit that he "could have and should have" done more to protect Pierre-Paul's privacy. Deadspin believes it will be difficult for Pierre-Paul to win his suit, as the Florida statute really only applies to the hospital for letting Schefter see Pierre-Paul's medical records in the first place and public figures "rarely win invasion of privacy cases." Two hospital employees have already been fired, and the hospital settled a lawsuit—likely brought by Pierre-Paul—related to the case. Pierre-Paul's injury kept him out for half of the past NFL season. (Read more ESPN stories.)

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